Two Illawarra women have been charged over the genital mutilation of two young girls.
The women, aged 73 and 68, were arrested in the Wollongong area today, police said.
They were among four people arrested and charged today over the genital mutilation of the girls, who were aged six and seven when the procedure was allegedly carried out in a home in metropolitan Sydney 18 months ago.
A sheikh, a retired nurse and a man and woman were also charged earlier this month and are in the process of appearing before the courts.
The Illawarra women have been charged under a section of the Crimes Act which prohibits female genital mutilation. They were granted bail to appear in Parramatta Local Court on November 7.
Police have refused to say which suburbs the pair are from.
Police have created Strike Force Longfield to investigate the alleged genital mutilation.
Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec last week told reporters the girls were members of a small cultural community in Sydney and were still living in the family home.
‘‘The children are still with their parents. I can stress that, despite this procedure, they are good parents,’’ he said.
‘‘Contradictory as it may sound, it’s a procedure that they believe in their own culture is appropriate.’’
There was no pattern of abuse in the family home, he added.
Police and Health NSW have engaged with the community in question, and Det Supt Kerlatec said many people had been ‘‘forthcoming with their rejection’’ of the practice of circumcising girls.